Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will think critically about the origins of products they use. They will be shown a diagram of the processes involved in Faber-Castell pencil production and learn about how the company makes choices with a focus on sustainability. Students will consider ways to reduce waste in the classroom and create an artwork with inspiration from an illustrator who creatively incorporates pencil shavings in her artwork.

Faber-Castell have long understood the importance of creativity to all people, especially to young people. They are also continuously searching for environmentally friendly processes and high-quality materials to enhance children’s creative experience throughout every development phase. For more information about Faber-Castell, click here.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will begin to understand sustainable production.
  • Students will think creatively about how to produce a sustainable artwork.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 & 6 Visual Arts

  • Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)
  • Explore ideas and practices used by artists, including practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent different views, beliefs and opinions (ACAVAM114)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS3.1, VAS3.2

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding, Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.4, OI.5.

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 Visual Arts achievement standards: Students use visual conventions and visual arts practices to express a personal view in their artworks. They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks.

Topic: Sustainability

Unit of work: Creative Sustainability – Year 5 & 6.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – show videos, facilitate discussion and oversee art activity.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Print-out: The Cycle of the EcoPencil (A3 size, enough for one between two if possible), Device capable of presenting a video to the class. A3 Paper, Colour Grip Pencils, Goldfaber Graphite Pencils, PVC-free erasers, Finepens, PVA glue and sharpeners.

Keywords:  Sustainability, carbon neutral, plantation, pencils, art, reduce, waste.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will begin to understand sustainable production.
  • Students will think creatively about how to produce a sustainable artwork.

Success criteria:

Students can…

  • actions that occur in sustainable production.
  • ...create an artwork using a material traditionally thought of as waste.


Teacher content information:

Sustainability describes the ability to keep going at the same rate and in the same (or better) condition as before. In order for our world to be able to sustain us, as well as the generations to come, we need to change. It’s time to think differently - and more creatively - about sustainability and the future of our planet.

Creativity and approaching challenges in a creative way has traditionally been seen as a natural gift, but in fact it can be grown just like a muscle. Creativity is like any other skill. It can be learned and developed – especially in the classroom. It’s a crucial skill for everybody to

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Have fun being creative!


What is one material that you would normally throw way that could be used in an artwork? Describe the material and how you would use it:

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